100 episodes

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience Kelton Reid

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    • 4.4, 5 Ratings

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

    How Bestselling Novelist Aris Janigian Writes

    How Bestselling Novelist Aris Janigian Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    The bestselling, award-winning novelist, Aris Janigian, had a candid conversation with me about the recently "mandated dystopia," his circuitous path to bestselling author, the city as muse, and what it means to be a transgressive writer.
    “As a cognitive social psychologist, I can tell you without any hesitation that the human mind really is built for deception.” – Aris Janigian
    The author of six novels (all without traditional representation), critics hailed his 2012 novel This Angelic Land – set during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots – as "today's necessary book," and his novel Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont, spent 17 weeks on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list.
    Janigian holds a PhD in psychology from the Claremont Graduate School and was formerly Senior Professor of Humanities at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
    He was a finalist for Stanford University's William Saroyan Fiction Prize and has been a contributing writer to West, the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine.
    The second book of Janigian's Waiting for... trilogy, Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach, "... is a satirical mashup of Nabokov's Lolita and Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground."
    The book has be described as "... an unflinching, deadly serious ... tragic-comic view of male sexuality in the era of #metoo."
    *Note: This interview was recorded at the beginning of May, 2020.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Aris Janigian and I discussed: The life of a lazy author Why graduate school corrupts good writers Wisdom on the importance of mentorship How the cruel mistress of Los Angeles plays a character in his works The self-censorship of academia Show Notes: ArisJanigian.com Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach by Aris Janigian [Amazon] “When the Lunatics Run the Asylum: On Aris Janigian’s “Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach” - LA Review of Books "Governors should trust mayors and county officials on reopening. California shows why." - Washington Post Kelton Reid on Twitter Anti-racism Resources – Donate to any of the following: Minnesota Freedom Fund Black Visions Collective Campaign Zero Black Lives Matter Podcasts to subscribe to: 1619 (New York Times) About Race Code Switch (NPR) Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights) Pod Save the People (Crooked Media) Seeing White Articles to read: "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge" | Los Angeles Times 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice  

    • 51 min
    How to Write Commercial Fiction with NY Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

    How to Write Commercial Fiction with NY Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

    The internationally bestselling author of over 35 novels, Jeffery Deaver, took a few minutes to discuss his advice on how to write emotionally engaging fiction, the merits of plotters vs. pantsers, and a 5-step process for writing your novel.
    "Rejection is just a speed bump ... it's not a brick wall. Keep at it." – Jeffery Deaver
    Jeffery is a former journalist, musician, and attorney best know for his Lincoln Rhyme series – now a hit NBC TV show – and the novel, The Bone Collector, adapted for the big screen starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
    The "master of suspense" has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards and gone on to sell 50 million books worldwide, translated into 35 languages.
    His latest thriller is a sequel to The Never Game – The Goodbye Man (A Colter Shaw Novel Book 2) – and once again features Colter Shaw, a rugged survivalist and "reward-seeker."
    One of Bookpage's "Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers" of 2020, Publishers Weekly said of the book, “Deaver balances suspense and plausibility perfectly ... This is a perfect jumping-on point for readers new to one of today’s top contemporary thriller writers.”
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Jeffery Deaver and I discussed: Why suspense writers are like airline pilots Wisdom from Joyce Carol Oates and the importance of outlining How having your novel read aloud to you can improve your prose A simple formula for writing "roller-coaster" fiction And much more! Show Notes: JefferyDeaver.com The Goodbye Man (A Colter Shaw Novel) by Jeffery Deaver [Amazon] NaturalReader app Jeffery Deaver on Instagram  Jeffery Deaver on Facebook Jeffery Deaver on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 31 min
    Productivity Secrets from NY Times Bestselling Author John Zeratsky

    Productivity Secrets from NY Times Bestselling Author John Zeratsky

    New York Times bestselling author and productivity expert, John Zeratsky, made time to chat with me about his mission to help you improve your focus, find greater meaning in your work, and get more out of each day.
    “All of the old structures and routines are gone.... When we have a schedule for ourselves ... that becomes scaffolding we can stand on, we're free to focus.” — John Zeratsky
    John studied journalism in college and has spent over 15 years as a designer for tech companies like YouTube and Google. He was also Google Ventures's in-house copywriter, editor, and content strategist. At Google Ventures, he helped develop the design sprint process and worked with close to 200 startups, including Uber, Slack, 23andMe, and Nest.
    As a result he co-authored the bestseller Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days – written with fellow "Time Dork" Jake Knapp. But they're by no means run-of-the-mill productivity experts, as you'll soon hear.
    Their latest collaboration is Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day a book described by the bestselling author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, as "A charming manifesto [and] do-it-yourself guide to building smart habits that stick. If you want to achieve more (without going nuts), read this book."
    Seems only fitting at a time when many of us are WFH (working from home), experiencing cabin fever (or worse), and questioning the future of work itself (i.e. "going nuts").
    John is a keynote speaker whose writing has been published by The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Fast Company, and many other publications.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file John Zeratsky (JZ – no not that Jay-Z) and I discussed: Why your smartphone saps your energy, focus, and attention The origins of the "distraction-free" mindset How to rethink your definition of time Why now is the best time to write that novel Sustainable ways to tune out during a pandemic Why storytelling is still the universal solvent And the importance of recharging your soul Show Notes: MakeTime.blog JohnZeratsky.com Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky [Amazon] John Zeratsky on LinkedIn John Zeratsky on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 46 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Author James Swallow Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Author James Swallow Writes

    Award-winning New York Times, Sunday Times, and Amazon #1 bestselling author, James Swallow, spoke with me about his superhero origin story, how he found success channeling his own anger, and the most important lessons he's learned along the way.
    "I try to make the details as authentic as I possibly can ... because a lot of the action in my books is 'heightened reality.'" – James Swallow
    James is a former journalist and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominated scriptwriter who has written for video games, TV, and radio.
    The prolific author of over 50 books – who has written sci-fi for storied franchises including Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Stargate – is best known for his espionage thrillers.
    His Marc Dane series – with over 750,000 books in print worldwide – includes novels Nomad, Exile, Ghost, Shadow, and his forthcoming novel Rogue, the fifth in the bestselling series featuring "Britain's answer to Jason Bourne," out May 28th (from Zaffre Books).
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file James Swallow and I discussed: Why the pandemic feels like "almost the end of the world" The renaissance of "high-speed, low-drag" thrillers inspired by the '80s His theories on the fallibility of action heroes How his journalism and TV writing experience set him up for success Why writers are always writing ... even when they're not His greatest influences And much more! Show Notes: www.jswallow.com James Swallow on Amazon  James Swallow on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter  

    • 50 min
    How to Publish Your First Novel with Acclaimed Author Abbigail N. Rosewood

    How to Publish Your First Novel with Acclaimed Author Abbigail N. Rosewood

    Award-winning writer and debut novelist, Abbigail N. Rosewood, joined me to discuss the roller coaster of emotions first-time authors face, how she overcame rejection and uncertainty, and her advice to aspiring scribes on how to rise above the noise.
    "Seeking representation didn't prepare me well for what was to come..." – Abbigail N. Rosewood
    Abbigail was born in Vietnam and lived there until the age of 12, so it's no surprise that she tapped into her past as a well for her fiction.
    After a false start in International Business, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University where she studied with famed fictionist Gary Shteyngart.
    Her lauded debut novel, If I Had Two Lives, has been described as "... [The] story [of] a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States – and the necessary return to her homeland."
    The Los Angeles Review of Books called it, “... a tale of staggering artistry,” and The New Yorker said "...the novel poignantly conjures the difficulties of reconciling the present with an 'ungraspable history.'"
    ** Note: This interview was recorded in mid-February, 2020.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Abbigail N. Rosewood and I discussed: Why empathy is so critical in fiction and the human experience The surreal (and fleeting) feeling of holding your first book in print How she was compelled to write the story of a Vietnamese immigrant/protagonist Why rejection is such an integral part of the traditional publishing path The importance of music and coffee to the creative process And the most valuable traits for aspiring writers Show Notes: abbigailrosewood.com If I Had Two Lives – by Abbigail N. Rosewood Abbigail N. Rosewood on Facebook Abbigail N. Rosewood on Instagram Kelton Reid on Twitter  

    • 36 min
    Earth Day Special with Terrain.org Editor-in-Chief Simmons Buntin

    Earth Day Special with Terrain.org Editor-in-Chief Simmons Buntin

    Editor-in-Chief of Terrain.org, Simmons Buntin, helped me celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by discussing why we need strong writing voices now more than ever, how to deal with the current "infodemic" of misinformation, and resources for starting your own revolution.
    “The voices in this essential anthology are anything but silent. Indeed, they are voices of hope, habitat, defiance, and, most importantly, democracy. Lend your ears, and then your own voice.” — Simmons Buntin
    Simmons has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the CU, Denver, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, so it's no surprise that he found the intersection of "... the built and natural environments [something he calls] 'the soul of place'."
    As the editor-in-chief of Terrain.org, a nonprofit literary magazine that explores just that, he publishes works that examine how our environment influences us in profound ways.
    He's also the co-editor of a new collection titled Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy (Trinity University Press, April 22, 2020), described as a "patriotic anthology" that includes hundreds of writers, poets, artists, scientists, and political activists of all ages.

    The more than 130 impassioned letters to America are calls to action for common ground and conflict resolution with a focus on the environment and social justice.
    Lauded author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben, said of the book, “These letters come from a deep, real love of this place, and they imagine willing, receptive readers on the other end. We need a series of miracles looking forward, and this is one.”
    Simmons is the author of 2 books of poetry, Riverfall, and Bloom, and also Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places (co-authored with Ken Pirie). He has published poetry, essays, and technical articles in publications as varied as Edible Baja Arizona, North American Review, Kyoto Journal, and Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Simmons Buntin and I discussed: How he became the editor-in-chief of Terrain.org The origin story of the "Dear America" letter Why bringing together so many impassioned writing voices is vital to our planet right now How the 2020 Presidential election will have a huge impact on climate change (and democracy) Why we need to question the direction of our nation and our part as patriots And why it's more important than ever to be active, not passive Show Notes: Terrain.org Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy NRDC ACLU The Union of Concerned Scientists Terrain.org on Facebook Terrain.org on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 35 min

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